New Case Rates and Death Rates

Current data indicate a reduction in new (read: confirmed) cases of Wuhan Virus—45,000 cases on Independence Day vs 50,000 cases the day prior.  Fun with statistics: that’s a 10% drop—wow.

It is promising, but a single datum isn’t very dispositive.

What really interested me, though, is this, also presented in the article at the link:

In contrast to the surge in positive diagnoses, the death rate has slowed mostly to the hundreds a day in recent weeks, from a peak of more than 2,000 daily during several weeks in April.

And:

A Judicial…Misunderstanding

The Supreme Court has struck Louisiana’s abortion law that required doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital before they could be permitted to carry out abortions. The ruling was by a 5-4 vote; the five hung their ruling on the Court’s 2016 Whole Woman’s Health decision holding that there were “no medical benefits” to such a requirement, and so “a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy” was circumscribed.

One of the five was Chief Justice John Roberts.

Here’s his rationalization for his vote:

Borderline….

According to Johns Hopkins’ CSSE data, the US has suffered 116,000 deaths from the Wuhan Virus as of 16 June. That’s not the whole story, though, and the raw number overstates the case along one critical dimension.

The US death toll from [Wuhan Virus] in nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities has topped 50,000….

That’s 43% of all our virus fatalities occurring in those old folks homes.

Those same CSSE data indicate that the US has some 2,100,000 cases—of which 250,000 have occurred in those facilities. That’s 12% of all our virus infections concentrated in those old folks homes, and a 20% fatality rate for our old folks, given infection in our old folks homes. Which compares with a 3% fatality rate outside those facilities.

New York’s Nursing Home Intakes

You may recall that New York’s Progressive-Democrat Governor, Andrew Cuomo, ordered all New York nursing homes to accept into their midst folks who were “recovering” from, but not yet cleared of, their Wuhan Virus infections and folks who might only have been exposed to the virus.

Nursing homes house the demographic most vulnerable to the virus: the aged, many of whom also have the most virulent comorbidities.  Residents, within days, began dying of the Wuhan Virus to the extent that their deaths alone make up a significant fraction—roughly a sixth—of all the Wuhan Virus deaths in a State that has the nation’s highest number of such deaths.

Active Dependency

The Transportation Security Administration is looking into the prospects and processes for taking passenger temperatures among all of TSA’s actual security duties.

Airlines have been pushing for the Transportation Security Administration to start taking passengers’ temperatures as part of a multifaceted effort to keep potentially sick people from boarding planes and to make passengers feel more comfortable taking trips again.

Such a thing is supposedly to cost under $20 million, and it won’t cost passengers anything. Instead, all of us taxpayers will be paying for the passengers’…concerns. To the extent those exist; it is, after all, the airlines pushing, not pax.

Economic Reopening, Resistance, and Perspective

As States reopen for business, and as increasing numbers of businesses reopen and customers patronize them against State government encouragements or outright diktats to the contrary, Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden is nattering on that President Donald Trump’s policies are undermining the core pillars of our economic strength. In the meantime, the NLMSM is focusing ghoulishly on body counts and not mentioning any other relevant information.

The following table looks at some data for three States mentioned in one Wall Street Journal article, another State mentioned in a different WSJ article, and two States mentioned by Fox News.

Personal Responsibility and Black Americans

Surgeon General Jerome Adams, among too few others, has pointed out that part of the reason the Wuhan Virus is hitting minorities so much harder than others—with blacks getting the bulk of the ink on this—is because of their inaction on factors under their control.  Leave aside factors like the pre-existence of health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, medical conditions that are generally beyond their control. Leave aside, further, that individual life-style choices can nevertheless significantly affect, if not eliminate, those conditions.

A Supreme Court Error

No, I’m not talking about the Court’s cowardice on gun rights. This one concerns the Court’s nearly unanimous decision regarding any Congress’ ability to undo what a prior Congress has done and the Executive Branch’s obligation to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated.

The Court upheld health coverage providers’ demand, under Maine Community Health Options v US for

payments to health insurers for so-called risk corridors in ObamaCare’s first three years[.]

Never mind that the 112th Congress, in 2010, undid what the prior 111th Congress had done and both refused to appropriate funds for those “risk corridors” and explicitly forbade the Executive Branch from making any risk corridor payments from other funds.

Drug Approvals

Dr Henry Miller, ex of the FDA where he founded the agency’s Office of Biotechnology, had some thoughts on how to speed up vaccine approval procedures in his Wednesday op-ed. They’re good ideas; although many of them only niggle around the edges of a long-ish procedure.

I have an additional idea.

Allow doctors to broadly prescribe the vaccine—or any drug—once it’s been shown to be safe. Such drugs should be clearly marked, and the patient clearly advised, that while the vaccine has been shown to be safe, it hasn’t been shown to be effective.

Medicare for All

Simon Johnson, of the MIT Sloan School of Management and an “informal” advisor to Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA) presidential campaign, thinks her Medicare for All scheme is the cat’s meow.  It would, he claims

cut costs by reducing inefficiency, eliminating predatory pricing (for example, for prescription drugs) and using the purchasing power of a single-payer system. Her plan would also constrain the growth rate of underlying medical costs.